LONGLEAF CULTURAL ENSEMBLE
Mission: Presenting art that speaks to the human spirit, using stories as tools to inspire and unite with themes of nature, history and identity expressed through the medium of cultural theater; and with performing, film and educational programs tell stories that matter.
Introducing The Longleaf Cultural Theater Ensemble
The Longleaf Cultural Theater Ensemble is a collective of artists committed to presenting works that speak to the human spirit, using stories as tools to inspire and unite with themes of nature, history and identity. Their productions are defined by the layering of images, music, dance and spoken word in a form of storytelling called "cultural theater." Scripted from historical accounts out of the North Carolina Sandhills, the troupe's minimalist musicals are intended to serve both as entertainment and cultural emblem.
Forming in 2011 around the creation of their signature work, Bleeding Pines of Turpentine, principal players are writer and founding director/producer Ray Owen; composer/guitarist Ryan Book; photographer/filmmaker Brady Beck; choirmaster Rod Brower and Together-N-Unity choir; actress and singer/songwriter Abigail Dowd; and dancer/choreographer Diana Turner-Forte. Through performing, film and educational programs the aim of Longleaf Cultural Theater Ensemble is to tell stories that matter, informing and engaging viewers with their cutting edge theatrical productions.
Founded upon the belief that there are few things as powerful as a compelling story, Longleaf Ensemble uses regional folk tales as the inspiration for their iconic blend of movement and imagery, creating performances meant to represent the unique mark of their people. By impacting all the senses, the intent is to offer a story that grows in the minds of the audience, having the potential to transcend its origin and create bonds based upon common ground.
Construction of a piece begins with a storyboard of conceptual text and images. The core artists work from the storyboard, evolving their individual parts, becoming co-creators as well as performers. Using authentic historical themes anchors the piece within strong cultural intersections, inviting the artists to identify with these intersections, drawing viewers deeper into the essence of the story and closer to the artists.
Cultural Theater: A story-driven performing arts production created by the layering of various artistic elements intended to entertain and serve as a cultural emblem for a community.